Gluten Free Friday – Stuffed Peppers

Welcome to Gluten Free Friday!

.

I’m sure some of you have been missing us…right?  Well, I was traveling, then followed that up by getting sick.  I’m finally feeling better, and finally ready to get back to some bloggin’!  I have a yummy meal to share with you, that will not only satisfy your GF eaters, but everyone else too!  Stuffed Peppers!

.

(My apologies for a blurry picture. Bad Blogger!)

.

I remember eating these when I was a kid, and I love them, but I will admit…I actually don’t like peppers.  Yeah I know that’s weird.  I just eat the insides, but it doesn’t taste the same if it’s not baked inside the pepper.  Plus it’s fun to dig your food out of a pepper bowl.  I guess it’s good to have a pepper lover with you that will eat yours.

.

I made these with the awesome Mara.  Well, really she made them while I took pictures and offered up my daughter for help.

.

(No, she doesn’t have some sort of weird disease…she still has face paint on from Superhero Club…which is an awesome idea by the way…)

.

If you have ever read Mara’s blog, What’s for Dinner?, you probably know that with Mara, measuring is optional.  Yeah, she’s that good.  Me, I need some structure in order to cook well.  So without the benefit of an actual recipe to follow, I will be speaking in hypotheticals and -ishes a bit, and leaving the measurements up to your discretion.

.

First, you will need to cook up some rice of your choice (we used brown rice).  Cook it just enough that it’s not hard, but don’t over cook it.  Then you will combine these things in a bowl:

.

1 lb ground beef (uncooked)

Rice (cooked)

Diced onion

Garlic powder

Oregano

Salt

Tomato sauce

.

It should look something like this:

.

.

Next, cut the tops off 4-5 peppers, and remove all the seeds.  Fill each pepper with the meat mixture, and pack it tightly.  Top with a little more tomato sauce and some parmesan cheese.  Place into a baking dish where you can stand all of the peppers upright-ish.  I promise they will try to fall down.

.

.

We baked ours at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

.

(See? I told you they want to fall down!)

.

And we chose to make a little corn too.  Add a little extra sauce to the plate, and voila!

.

.

Yum Yum Yum!

.

Have a great weekend everyone!

.

Lizz

 

.

Guest Post: Gluten-Free Friday: Apple Cider Fritters

Hello readers of A Little Bit of This & That! I’m Mara, Lizz’s heterosexual life mate and BFF as well as the writer of the blog What’s for Dinner?. You may have heard of me before, or seen Lizz and my various shenanigans through the course of her blog, including the Twilight party, pizza night, making cupcake bites… the list goes on.

.

So, when Lizz put out a call for guest posts, I of course volunteered. Then Lizz said “Hey, why don’t you do Gluten-Free Friday?!” And I was… apprehensive. I very rarely make gluten-free treats. Ok, that’s not completely true. I make gluten-free food all the time, just not for the sole reason of it being gluten-free. I don’t have any sort of gluten intolerance, nor do I toy with cutting out gluten for the sole reason that it’s “trendy.”

.

However, as you know, Lizz’s daughter Skylar was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease, and I love being able to help in any way that I can, being the “food nerd” that I am.

.

Then, I asked my friend Mindy at work, whose 2-year-old daughter was also just diagnosed with Celiac disease, if there were any treats she’d like me to try to make since she’d get to bring the leftovers home.

.

She said “Pie. Or cookies. Or really anything!” So I went with it.

.

I couldn’t handle making pie crust on a Thursday night. My rolling pin had touched far too much gluten for me to roll out cookies. So I went the more “anything” route. These are reminiscent of Lizz and my trips to the apple orchard over the years, and really, the sole reason for visiting sometimes!

IMG_7820

First, I made sure to thoroughly clean my mixing bowl, dough hook, cutting surface, knife, and measuring cups as these fritter bites will be actually fed to someone with Celiac.

.

I used a mixture of certified gluten-free oat flour and white rice flour to create the base of the batter, as well as some other key ingredients.

IMG_7807 IMG_7808

Below you’ll see the step-by-step directions, and please keep in mind these can be altered to suit your kitchen. No mixer? Use a whisk and bowl! Don’t want to fry? Bake the batter in mini muffin tins!

.

First, proof 1 packet of yeast in 1 cup of apple cider.

IMG_7806

Then, after it’s foamy, add in 2.5 cups of oat flour and mix well. It will get quite sticky.

IMG_7811

Add 3 eggs (or 1 egg and 2 egg whites, either will work), then mix well. Also add in 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce and 2 Tbsp. of canola oil.

IMG_7810

Then, add in one cup of white rice flour and mix well.

IMG_7809

Next, add 2 Tablespoons white sugar, 1 Tablespoon cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons nutmeg

IMG_7812

Finally, stir in one large chopped apple.

IMG_7813

Allow the batter to rest and rise about 30 minutes, then heat oil to 375*F (or pre-heat the oven to 375*).

Drop by rounded tablespoons into the hot oil and cook about 4 minutes, flipping once.

IMG_7816

Drop the hot fritters into a dish with a mixture of white sugar and cinnamon (I used 1/2 cup sugar and 1/8 cup cinnamon) and toss to coat.

IMG_7817

Stack artfully and admire your handiwork.

IMG_7818

IMG_7821

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Fritters

Ingredients

Fritters

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 packet instant dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 large apple, chopped
  • oil for frying

Cinnamon-sugar topping

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cinnamon

Directions

First, proof the packet of yeast in the apple cider.

Then, after it’s foamy, add in the oat flour and mix well. It will get quite sticky.

Add the eggs (or 1 egg and 2 egg whites, either will work), then mix well. Also add in the unsweetened applesauce and canola oil.

Then, add in the white rice flour and mix well.

Next, add the white sugar,cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Finally, stir in the apple.

Allow the batter to rest and rise about 30 minutes, then heat oil to 375*F (or pre-heat the oven to 375*).

Drop by rounded tablespoons into the hot oil and cook about 4 minutes, flipping once.

Drop the hot fritters into a dish with a mixture of white sugar and cinnamon (I used 1/2 cup sugar and 1/8 cup cinnamon) and toss to coat.

If baking:

Drop the batter into prepared muffin tins and bake at 375*F until done, about 12-15 minutes. When done, brush the tops of the muffins with apple cider, then dip into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

IMG_7819

.

Enjoy these gluten-free bites of fall!


Gluten Free Friday – Southwesty Crock Pot Chicken

Welcome to Gluten Free Friday! 

.

And…Welcome to the first day of Fall!! Hurray!!

.

Today I have another yummy crock pot meal to share with you that I found over at The Larson Lingo.  I stuck with the same ingredients, but since the lovely Mel mentioned that it was a little soupy, I made a few modifications.  Mainly, I thawed the chicken first.  This gave me the chance to trim it as well.  So anyways…let’s get to it!!

.

.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of chicken breast
  • 1 8 oz. brick of cream cheese
  • 1 can of corn (drained)
  • 1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can of rotel (optional: slightly drain)

.

Put everything into the crock pot.  (You cannot see it, but the chicken is under all that yummyness)

.

.

Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.  Stir halfway through.  About 45 minutes before you are ready to serve, shred the chicken and return it to the pot.

.

.

We chose to serve it over brown rice, but I think this would be amazing on nacho chips too.  Season as you see fit.  If you like a spicy kick in your food, you could add a little hot sauce or chili powder.

.

.

It does look a little beige because of the cream cheese, but don’t let that fool you.  This is bursting with flavor!

.

I was expecting lots of leftovers, but we all went back for seconds so there was just one little container to put in our fridge.  Looks like this meal will grace our tables again in the near future!

.

Have a wonderful Fall weekend everyone!!

.

Lizz

.

I’m trying something new here….If you love pintrest as much as I do, and you love this recipe and want to add it to your pintrest collection, click below!

Pin It

Gluten Free Friday – Magic Milk Straws

Welcome to Gluten Free Friday!

.

I have a fun little thing to share with you today.  I recently came across a fun new(ish) way to drink milk.  Magic Milk Straws!

.

.

So what’s so magical about straws?  Well, these straws have a little surprise inside…they actually flavor your milk as you drink it!  So fun!

.

I had found a ton of 6 packs in a wide variety of flavors (including some I would have never thought of like wild berry and chocolate peanut butter), but I loved the idea of this family pack, which offered us 4 basic flavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla, and Cookies & Cream.

.

I couldn’t wait to get these home to share with Skylar.  And, as always, she didn’t disappoint.  She jumped around and immediately asked for a glass of milk.  You want a little dairy?  No problem!!

.

We opened the box, and got a nice surprise: they are all individually wrapped.  That could be so nice for lunches or traveling.  Then we got to inspecting.  We found that the straw is filled with little flavored balls, and it has a sort of valve at each end to keep those in while the milk goes through.

.

(oops…forgot to use a vanilla straw for this pic!!)

.

I could go on and on about how cool I think these are, but really, there’s just one person’s opinion that matters.  So, Skylar, what do you think?

.

.

Ha!  She really does love them, but drinking out of a straw is one of two things that I think nobody looks cool doing.  (the other is running with a backpack on)  What does look cool?  Magic Milk Straws in a muffin tin meal!  Did you see this one from last week?

.

(If you want to check out all of our muffin tin meals, *click here*)

.

So why did I use an entire Gluten Free Friday post to talk about straws?

.

.

See that?  Gluten Free!  Right on the package.  As Skylar and I now say, those are our favorite words to see.

.

Have you found a fun GF treat you would like to share?  We would love to hear about it!

.

Thanks for stopping by for Gluten Free Friday!

.

Have a wonderful, yummy, chocolatey/strawberry/vanilla-y/cookies & creamy/wild berry/chocopeanutbuttery milky day!!

.

Lizz

Gluten Free Friday – Celiac VS. Happy Meal

When we found out that Skylar has Celiac Disease, we immediately started researching where she would be able to eat.  Just because a food is naturally gluten free does not mean that it hasn’t been contaminated.  For example, french fries are basically just potatoes, and therefore gluten free.  When you get them in a restaurant however, there is a very good chance that they are going to fry them in the same oil as breaded foods, i.e. chicken nuggets.  Now those fries are no good.  When I heard about all of this, I very specifically sighed over the fact that I could never really treat my daughter to McDonald’s again.

.

All kids love this place.  We as parents know that it’s not the least bit healthy, but for a special treat, why not?  And what’s the best part of going to McDonald’s for a kid?  Yeah, it’s the prize in the happy meal.

.

(I miss the old-school box, but they come back every once in a while)

.

I try to not eat things in front of Skylar that she cannot eat, so when it comes to a MickyD’s craving, I do what any caring loving mom would do.  I sneak over there when I don’t have her with me.

.

On my last sneak mission, I saw that the toy in the happy meal is a key chain with a Twinkle Toe shoe on it (sneakers made by Sketchers that are just covered in glitter and jewels).  Skylar has been begging for a pair, but I just can’t justify the price ($35-$50?!?!  I’m dying to find a good sale or coupon).  Pair a mini Twinkle Toe shoe with Skylar’s love of key chains, I knew she would LOVE to have one of these.

.

But I can’t order a happy meal with no kid.  I mean I could, but I’m there for a Big Mac and large fry people!  So I finally worked up the courage to ask if they would ever give one away.  The nice lady I was speak with said she couldn’t do that, but they do sell them for 90 cents.  What?!  Less than a dollar to make my kid’s day?  You got it!!

.

.

Once they gave me the bag with the toy, I had a thought.  Who says my kid can’t come to McDonald’s anymore?  If we are going with others, or even for the occasional party, why not bring our own safe food, and stick it in the bag for her.  Now she can still get the McDonald’s experience, without the stomach pain and GI issues that would surely follow.

.

This may not seem like a huge revelation, but it really was exciting for me.  I will do anything I can do to make my daughter feel normal, and this whole concept of being able to buy McDonald’s toys works for me.

.

.

So there you have the little tiny shoe key chain (whose jeweled toes light up) that made my daughter squeal with excitement.  She waited so patiently so I could take a few pictures, before running off to add the key chain to her backpack.  And she didn’t even ask why there wasn’t any food in the bag. 

.

Happy Girl = Happy Mom

.

Oh, and check out this fun little bonus…

.

.

Stickers, a code to add Twinkle Toe Shoes to your mPal (Don’t know what that is yet, but it looks like some sort of online character you can create), and a 30% off coupon for real Twinkle Toe shoes!!  Looks like this little sneaky trip to McD’s might result in a little girl getting the shoes she wants so desperately.

.

So, for those of you with gluten free kids, what sort of things do you do to help them feel like they aren’t missing out on anything?  I’d love to hear about it!

.

Have a great Twinkle Toes weekend everyone!!

.

Lizz

Gluten Free Friday – Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken

***NOTE***

It was pointed out to me that the bbq sauce used in the recipe is, in fact, NOT gluten free.  ‘Tis a shame, but I’m sure that a regular GF BBQ sauce, like Sweet Baby Ray’s, would also taste great.

*****

Things have been really busy around here, between craziness at work, school starting, ect.  I love crock pot meals, but I have one complaint.  They always said it’s so quick, but sometimes the prep required in the morning makes it impossible for me to set things up properly and still get to work on time.  Well, today I have a super yummy, 3 ingredient dish I found over at Six Sister’s Stuff.  I modified the methods a bit, but stuck with the original ingredients.

.

Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken

.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts (thawed and trimmed)
  • 1 Bottle of Archer’s Farms Hawaiian Style Barbecue Sauce (from Target)
  • 1 (20 oz.) Can of Pineapple Chunks, Drained

.

Directions:

1) Put your chicken in the crock pot.  I prefer to thaw mine, so I can trim it.  This can be done the evening before.  (If that doesn’t bother you, to make this meal even easier, you can use frozen chicken.)

2) Pour the entire bottle of hawaiian BBQ sauce over the chicken.

3) Cook on low for 6-7 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours)

4) 1 hour before you are ready to eat, shred the chicken and return it to the crock pot.

5) Add the drained pineapple, and cook for remaining hour.

.

Once done, you should have something like this:

.

.

We chose to serve ours over brown rice (our favorite vehicle for these sort of meals!), with a side of edamame.

.

.

This was a delicious and easy meal.  There was a ton left over too, and it tasted just as good the next day.  I will definately keep this one on hand.

.

Do you have any good quick crock pot meals that your family goobles up?  I would love to hear about it!

.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend everyone!

.

Lizz

.

I’m sharing this yummy dish at the following parties:

For the Kids Friday @ Sun Scholar’s

Simply Link Party @ Simply Designing

Party Mindie Style @ Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo

Delicately Constructed Fridays @ Delicately Constructed

Gluten Free Friday – Brown Butter Shrimp

Welcome to Gluten Free Friday!!

.

I am not someone who can easily walk into a kitchen, grab a random handful of ingredients, and make an amazing meal.  Basically I would be the first one kicked off of Chopped.  But…every once in a while, I do happen to make a non-recipe meal work.  This one I’m sharing today was a success on multiple levels because

1) it was delicious

2) Skylar ate it up like it was going out of style

3) I actually used spices (a rare thing)

4) I created it all on my own!

.

Let’s get to it shall we…

.

Lizz’s Brown Butter Shrimp

(Yes, I’m naming it after myself. I am proud of me!)

.

Ingredients:

  • 14-16 oz of cooked shrimp (peeled, deveined, with or without tails)
  • 1 stick butter
  • Rubbed Sage
  • Lemon Thyme
  • Pasta/Rice/Gluten Free Pasta of your choice.

.

The whole idea of this recipe started when I found a big bag of frozen shrimp at Walmart for $5!! I immediately snagged one, with a mental promise to do something good with it.  I took it home, thawed them out, and removed the tails (because I was eating with a kid I thought that would be easier, but I do think they are pretty when left on)

.

.

It took a lot to keep little fingers out of this bowl!

.

While the shrimp thawed I started thinking about a sauce I could make with the minimal (read: almost none) ingredients I have on hand.  Hmm…I do have butter.  And I love brown butter.  But I’ve never made brown butter.  A challenge?!  Ah ha!

.

So, let’s make some brown butter.  It’s much easier than I thought it would be.  Just take one stick of butter, cut it up into even slices, and add to a medium hot skillet.

.

.

Once the butter is melted, you will keep cooking it on low/medium heat until the butter turns an amber brown color, and has a nutty smell.  Be careful not to go too far and burn it.

.

.

I used a slotted spoon to scoop away some of the foam on top.  Then I added in some spices.  Upon digging in my (rarely used) spice rack, I had come across two bottles that I didn’t know I had. 

.

.

Since I’m no spice whiz, I went with the smell test.  I poured a little of each of these into my hand, and gave it a sniff.  Smelled good to me!  I dropped a few healthy pinches of each into the butter.  I didn’t measure because I didn’t know what I was doing really.  You’ll just have to go with your gut on this one.  The spices made a cool sizzling noise when they hit the butter.  Ssssss…..  Then I added in the shrimp.

.

.

Since the shrimp was already cooked, I just kept it in there long enough to really warm it up, get some of those flavors to soak in.  About 3 minutes or so.

.

While all of this was going on, I had been boiling up some pasta for myself and Skylar had asked that hers come with rice. (which is conveniently gluten free!).  I put several shrimp right on top of our chosen base, and then poured on a few spoonfuls of the liquid as well.  There was some sludgy stuff at the bottom of that pan, and that really had the best taste.  Don’t leave that part out!  The results?…

.

.

Yum for my pasta dish!

.

.

And major smiles from Skylar for her rice dish!

.

I was so happy with the outcome of this, I will absolutely make this again!!  We even had enough left over for lunch the next day.

.

And here’s a little trick when making something this fancy and different for a kid:  I didn’t cook all of the shrimp.  I left about a third of it to the side.  Once the shrimp was cooked, I had her taste one before serving her an entire plateful.  Thankfully she loved it, but if she hadn’t I had plenty of un-sauced shrimp for her to eat.  She loved it so much that I added the unused shrimp to our butter sauce and cooked it up for leftovers.

.

I hope I made you all hungry!  Have a great weekend everyone!

.

Lizz

.

I will be linking this meal to the following parties:

For the Kids Friday @ Sun Scholar’s

Simply Link Party @ Simply Designing

Party Mindie Style @ Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo

Delicately Constructed Fridays @ Delicately Constructed

My Favorite Things @ Stay at Home Nation

CraftOManiac Mondays @ CraftOManiac

Inspire Me Mondays @ Singing Three Little Birds

Craftastic Monday @ Sew Can Do

Nifty Thrifty Sunday @ Nifty Thrifty Things

Gluten Free Friday – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

 

While casually checking out some posts from my favorite sites on Google Reader yesterday, I happened across a post on Making Memories (a super cute kid-centered blog).  It sounded (and looked) so yummy!! I knew a few minor tweeks would make it a perfect gluten free treat.  Prepare yourself for…

.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

.

No!

.

Oh, yes.

.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. gluten free vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • Gluten free cookies/Other GF items for scooping (I bet this would be amazing with strawberries!)

.

Melt the stick of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Then add in the brown sugar and warm until the mixture is bubbling.

.

.

Remove from heat and add the vanilla.

.

In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar until thoroughly mixed.

.

.

Add the butter/sugar mixture to the cream cheese mixture.

.

.

And mix until smooth. (I pulled out my hand mixer here to really get the cream cheese to cooperate)

.

.

Add the chocolate chips.  Don’t turn your back…

.

.

Mix and refridgerate until ready to serve.

.

Skylar wanted to use chocolate cookies to scoop up her dip. so we brought out some gluten free animal cookies.

.

.

To try something a little different, I tried it with dried bananas, and I thought it was delish!

.

.

So unhealthy  Sinful  Dangerous Amazing!!

.

Have a great weekend!

.

Lizz

.

If you would like to see all of our other Gluten Free Fridays, *Click Here*

Gluten Free Friday – Sweet Baby Ray’s Restaurant

Welcome to Gluten Free Friday!

.

Today I bring you a restaurant review.  I hadn’t planned on this post, until we went out to eat on Monday night with some out-of-town family.  We had such a good experience that I thought it deserved everyone’s attention.

.

The restaurant I’ll be telling you about today is Sweet Baby Ray’s.  You might be perking up a little going…”Wait.  Don’t they make BBQ sauce.”  Yes, you would be correct.  Does this look familiar?

.

.

Yes Sauce, you are the Boss!  We love this stuff, and always have multiple bottles on hand.  So when I heard a while ago that there was a restaurant by the same name, I was sooooo there!  The food is amazing, and we’ve been back several times since.

.

.

This last trip was different, because it was our first time going after learning about Skylar’s Celiac Disease.  We haven’t been out to many restaurants recently, and we were feeling a bit nervous.  We sat down and immediately asked if they have a gluten free menu.  Our very pleasant waitress told us they sure did and she would like right back with it.

.

What actually came our way was the head chef, right out the kitchen.  We jokingly asked if he was the gluten free menu, but honestly we weren’t far off.  This guy knew his stuff, and he was very interested in helping us find the perfect meal for Skylar.  He informed us that their sauce is gluten free, so any meat would be safe.  Then he asked if she likes french fries.  Our reply was “of course, but we don’t order them at restaurants because they’re cooked in the same oil being used to fry everything else”.  He shook his head and told us that he was going to take a clean pot with fresh oil on the stove and make her fries separately.

.

I. Love. This. Place.  How many places are willing to go out of their way to make a special meal for my kid?  She got to eat safe ribs and fries, and couldn’t be happier about it.

.

.

(bad camera picture captures good memories)

.

When I scoped out the website for info in this post, I came across some great specials:

.

Specials:

Tuesdays after 5 kids eat free

Wednesdays after 5, all you can eat ribs

Weekdays 4-6 free appetizers

They also have a whole calendar of events with drink specials and carry out specials.

.

So there you have it.  Our fantastic experience eating out with our Celiac daughter.  While I know not every experience will be this great, it is so nice to know that there are places we can feel comfortable feeding her, without sacrificing a night out having some amazing food.

.

If you are in the Chicagoland Area, and would like more information about this restaurant, *Click Here* for their website.

.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you are all able to find a place to eat out that makes you feel comfortable while consuming tasty food.  Have a great weekend!

.

Lizz

.

P.S. If you would like to see all of our other Gluten Free Fridays, *Click Here*

Gluten Free Friday – Creating a Safe Spot

Welcome back to Gluten Free Friday!!

.

This week’s GF tidbit will be pretty short, as we will be spending the weekend roaming around downtown Chicago at Lollapalooza!  (If you don’t know what this is…it’s a huge 3 day music festival).  It’s our first time going, so we’re really looking forward it.

.

I have a tip for those of you that are working on creating a mixed household (both glutened and gluten-free):  Create safe spots for all of the gluten free foods.  We created several.  There’s one lower cabinet that already has all of Skylar’s cups, plates, ect.  I decided to also put her own toaster, strainer, and other non-food items in there as well.  The fridge has a spot for her food, and her canned food in the upper cabinets. is separated.

.

The majority of her food is kept in the pantry, where we have a dedicated shelf for her.

.

.

This really helps her to know what she can grab for snacks, and for sitters to know what food is safe to give her.

.

I found that when I started reorganizing to accommodate her food, I was also able to do a little cleaning up in all of the areas of kitchen.  In the end I had a well organized, separated kitchen.

.

Have a great weekend everyone!  I know I will!!

.

Lizz

.

(If you would like to see all of our other Gluten Free Friday posts, *Click Here*)